How to knit with circular knit needles
Circular knitting needles are great fun. With them you can make bags and sweaters without seams and other fun projects like hats and socks. However, most patterns assume that people know how to work with circular knitting needles, which can be intimidating for people who don’t.
What are circular knitting needles?
Circular knitting needles can be made from most materials that straight knitting needles are made of: Bamboo, metal, plastic and resin are the most popular materials. Two hard points are connected by a flexible cord that holds most stitches.
Circular knitting needles can be permanently attached to the cord or purchased as part of an interchangeable system where the tips can be removed from the cord and replaced with larger or smaller needles. Interchangeable needles can be purchased separately or in a set containing many different sizes of needles and cords. Circular knitting needles are usually available in all US sizes up to 15 (interchangeable needle kits are usually available from size 3 or 4 to 15 depending on the brand).
You can purchase different cable lengths depending on the scope of your project. Common lengths are 16, 24, 29, 36 and 40 inches. Different manufacturers can produce other lengths such as 11 or 34 inches. The pattern you want to knit should tell you what length and size circular needles you need.
Using the right length needle for your project is important because the number of stitches you need must fit comfortably on the needle. You don’t want so many stitches that they are all bundled together, or so few that you can’t really edit them.
Alternatives to using a single circular needle if you don’t have a needle of the right length include using two circular or one long circular and the magic loop method.
Work patterns in the round
If you knit in the round, knit all the time on the right side or front of the fabric. This means that you need to change your basic pattern stitches to get them out properly.
There is a lot of circular knitting done in Stockinette Stitch, which is great because all you have to do is knit each row. To make stockinette stitch, you need to knit one row instead of each row, you need to knit one row instead of each row. For Reverse Stockinette, clean each row.
Other pattern stitches can be worked in the round, but these are the most common stitches you will come across. Patterns designed for knitting in the round are usually written so that you don’t have to remember that you are always on the right side, but some say something like “Knit in Stockinette (knit each row)”. “to remind you what to do.
Knit flat on circular knitting needles
You can also use round needles to knit something flat. This is especially helpful when you are working on large projects like afghanis, wraps or throws. A circular needle holds the stitches a little better and is easier on your body because the needle takes more of the weight of the project.
Flat knitting on circular needles is similar to working on straight needles. Don’t join in, just pull up and knit. Knit as usual from the left needle to the right, and when you reach the end of the row, change hands as you would when knitting on straight needles.